You must have received the message from Fred and Nora forwarded earlier today regarding the convoy to Gaza that is currently prevented from entering Egypt. We have also received news from Nora, and up to now, the news is they are still not allowed to Egypt. From what I’ve understood, the Egyptians have said they’ll be allowed to enter the country, if apparently they leave the aid to travel through Israel with the Israelis, they return to Lebanon, and then go from Lebanon to Egypt, hope to be allowed to land from there, and then hope to receive back the aid from the Israelis to take to Gaza. All in all, the ‘offers’ made up to now are merely a publicity stunt by Egypt and Israel to pretend they are allowing aid to pass through while it essentially becomes confiscated and the convoy prevented from finishing its mission.
We need help to pester the media, politicians, and the Egyptians. What we have done is divide up all the email adresses we have into Egyptian contacts, politicians and media. Im giving you the lists below, and further down are three sample letters to send to each of the three ‘categories’. Please, if anybody knows any more contact emails we can use, or Egyptian contacts in other countries outside of Britain (emails can be send from anywhere to anywhere after all) or other media, please send them to us, so we can update the contact lists.
All you have to do is simply send each of the three letters to the emails for the respective target category.
-Egyptian Embassy in London
Tel: 020 7499 3304/2401
-Jeremy Corbyn (Labour MP for Islington North)
020 7561 7488
-Clare Short (Independent MP for Birmingham Ladywood)
020 7219 4264/4148
-David Miliband (Foreign Secretary/Labour MP for South Shields)
(0191) 456 8910
-Foreign & Commonwealth Office Ministerial support team email address
-Nick Clegg (Leader of Lib Dems, MP for Sheffield Hallam, wrote this piece in the guardian the other day http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2009/dec/22/lift-the-gaza-blocade-nick-clegg)
-British Embassy in Egypt
NB. the embassy email addresses are only meant for information, so you could include a kind note to forward the message to the appropriate diplomatic staff.
LETTER TO EGYPTIANS
Dear Sir / Madam,
I would like to express my dismay that you are preventing British / E.U. citizens who have driven many vehicles filled with medical supplies for the people of Gaza from crossing your border.
The Viva Palestina Aid Convoy has enjoyed the support of all the other countries on their long journey across Europe and the Middle East. The convoy’s sole objective is to deliver medical items, such as ambulances, bandages and wheelchairs.
Please let this convoy cross the border in a timely fashion. Please do not redirect the convoy to make this long journey even more difficult for the hundreds of volunteers on a journey of aid and goodwill.
LETTER TO POLITICIANS
I have been following the progress of a convoy taking aid to the Gaza strip. The convoy consists of over 200 vehicles carrying many thousands of pounds worth of aid, and has been organized by Viva Palestina and Code Pink. Many of the activists taking part have gone from the United Kingdom.
It has recently come to my attention that Egyptian authorities have blocked the progress of the convoy by denying entry to Egypt. The convoy is currently waiting in Jordan to be permitted to board a ferry across the Red Sea. I have heard from one person in the convoy who has decribed how they are cold and have little access to food at the moment.
I am kindly requesting that you use your position and influence to help us persuade the Egyptian authorities to permit the convoy to pass safely. This is very important to me, both for my hope that the people in Gaza will receive the much-needed aid, and also out of concern for my friends in the convoy.
LETTER TO MEDIA
Subject: Please report Gaza convoy.
Tomorrow is the first anniversary of Israel’s commencement of its operation ‘Cast Lead’ in which, according to the BBC, about 1,300 Palestinians and 10 Israeli soldiers were killed in three weeks. Three Israeli citizens also died in rocket attacks during the operation.
I hope that your publication will be noting this anniversary, and if so I strongly urge you to give news coverage to the Viva Palestina aid convoy to Gaza, seeking to break the ongoing blockade which a UN special rapporteur has called a “crime against humanity.” http://www.vivapalestina.org/home.htm
The convoy consists of over 200 vehicles; over 200 of the drivers are from the UK (including George Galloway MP). Currently Egyptian authorities are not allowing the convoy to enter and are therefore blocking their progress to Gaza. The convoy is currently in Aqaba hoping to get permission to cross the Red Sea. It would be very helpful if this was mentioned in the UK national press; I and many of my friends are extremely disappointed that it has not yet been. If a correspondent was sent there would be over 500 people willing to give interviews.